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Posted: Mon Dec 25, 2006 5:39 am
Achaemenian Dynasty 550 BC - 334 BC
559 - 530 BC
Cyrus the Great was the first Achaemenian Emperor. He founded Persia by uniting the two original Iranian Tribes- the Medes and the Persians. Although he was known to be a great conqueror, who at one point controlled one of the greatest Empires ever seen, he is best remembered for his unprecedented tolerance and magnanimous attitude towards those he defeated.

The tomb of Cyrus the Great

Cyrus' Charter of the Rights of Nations (British Museum)
A replica of this decree is displayed in the UN.

I am Cyrus, King of the World. When I entered Babylon I did not allow anyone to terrorize the land. I kept in view the needs of its people and all its sanctuaries to promote their well being. I put an end to their misfortune. The great God has delivered all lands into my hand, the lands that I have made to dwell in peaceful habitation.

Posted: Mon Dec 25, 2006 5:51 am
522 - 486 BC
The reign of Darius the Great marked the zenith of the Persian Empire. Upholding the tradition established by Cyrus, Darius valued the rights of all people under his rule. The following inscription appears on his tomb:
By the favor of the great god I believe in justice and abhor inequity. It is not my desire that the weak man should have wrong done to him by the mighty...
Darius' goal was to be a great law-giver and organizer. He structured the empire under the satrapy system (similar to national and local governments). He built many roads, ports, banking houses (the word "check" comes from old Persian), elaborate underground irrigation systems and a canal to link the Nile to the Red Sea (an early precursor of the Suez Canal).



In the 19th century, archeologists in Egypt discovered an inscription by Darius commemorating the completion of the Canal: I am a Persian. I commanded to dig this canal from a river by name of Nile which flows in Egypt... After this canal was dug, ships went from Egypt through this canal to Persia, thus as was my desire.
Darius revolutionized mankind's economic activities by introducing one of the earliest (certainly the first on such a massive scale) forms of common coinage in history, the darik. This initiative, along with the standardization of weights and measures and the codification of commercial laws, stimulated world trade and elevated the Persian Empire's economy to new levels of prosperity.

Darius tomb

Posted: Mon Dec 25, 2006 6:00 am

PERSEPOLIS(or PAARSE or Takhte-Jamshid), the capital of the Persian Empire.
539 BC
Reflecting the wealth and the mugreeting card lticultural dimension of the Persian Empire, Darius initiated the building of the Persepolis Palace. For its construction, artisans and materials were gathered from different corners of the empire. Another project undertaken by Darius was the royal road, the world's longest, extending 1,500 miles (see map). Due to an extensive network of relays, postmen could travel the road in six to nine days, whereas normal travel time was three months. The motto of the Persian postal service became memorable: stoped by neither snow, rain heat or gloom of night. The US postal service also adopted this motto and the famous Pony Express mail delivery resembled the original Persian design. The origins of polo date back to this time. Persian nobility played an early form of polo for both sport and combat training.

A battered guardian of persepolis

490 - 479 BC
In their wars with Persia, the Greek city-states were never a threat to the Persian heartland. What Persia did not achieve through war, it obtained through diplomacy. After the wars ended, Persian kings successfully played the Athenians and Spartans against each other for 150 years. Persia's financial and naval assistance was instrumental in Sparta's victory over Athens in the Great Peloponnesian War. Afterwards, Persia began supporting the Athenians. The Persian influence over the two Greek city-states was such that the Persian King Artaxerxes II was asked to mediate between them, leading to the King's Peace of 387 BC.
550 - 334 BC
The Persian Empire became the dominant world power for over two centuries. It made possible the first significant and continuous contact between East and West. It was the world's first religiously tolerant empire and consisted of a multitude of different languages, races, religions and cultures. Prior to the rise of the Roman Empire, it set a precedent for the importance of the rule of law, a powerful centralized army and an efficient and systematic state administration. However, the greatest legacy of the Persian Empire was that it demonstrated for the first time how diverse peoples can culturally flourish and economically prosper under one central government.

Posted: Mon Dec 25, 2006 8:37 am
Map of the ancient Persia


Posted: Mon Dec 25, 2006 8:58 am
The Homa griffin


Homa (in Persian هما) is a griffin-like mythological creature and symbol in Persian art. The history of the creature's depiction dates back to the Achaemenid Persians, most notably at the palace of Persepolis where many sculptures of Homa were constructed, e.g. at the top of columns. In Iranian legends, Homa would fly and then land on the head or shoulder of a king-elect upon death of a king, although this is sometimes attributed to the other Persian mythological bird Huma.


Posted: Mon Dec 25, 2006 10:01 am
by babara
Thanks for historical information and pictures. :wink:
It is useful really!!

Posted: Wed Dec 27, 2006 8:08 am
Temple of ANAHITA

On the road traveling from Tehran toward the city of Kermanshah, one passes through the valley of Asad-abad. In small town of Kangavar, ruins of a majestic historic site start to appear right by the roadside.

The site is known as the Temple of Anahita, built by Achaemenian Emperor Ardeshir II (Artaxerxes II), 404 BC to 359 BC.


This temple is built in honor of "Ardevisur Anahita," the female guardian angel of waters. It is known as "Temple of Anahita"
Shapes and carvings of the columns in temple are similar to those found in Persepolis and palace of Darius in Susa.



Posted: Wed Dec 27, 2006 3:00 pm
by Oriani
Wow!!! I can see that every country or land has its own piece of beauty!!! :P

Posted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 12:52 pm
by Anahita
PAARSE, mate, you've done a great job indeed, thanks so much for these interesting information and beautiful photo's. The ancient empire of Persia has a great history which could be seen truly through these lines.

Posted: Sat Dec 30, 2006 4:54 am

The magnificent palace complex at Persepolis was founded by Darius the Great around 518 B.C., although more than a century passed before it was finally completed. Conceived to be the seat of government for the Achaemenian kings and a center for receptions and ceremonial festivities, the wealth of the Persian empire was evident in all aspects of its construction. The splendor of Persepolis, however, was short-lived; the palaces were looted and burned by Alexander the Great in 331-330 B.C.

The Apadana


By far the largest and most magnificent building is the Apadana, begun by Darius and finished by Xerxes, that was used mainly for great receptions by the kings. Thirteen of its seventy-two columns still stand on the enormous platform to which two monumental stairways, on the north and on the east, give access. They are adorned with rows of beautifully executed reliefs showing scenes from the New Year's festival and processions of representatives of twenty-three subject nations of the Achaemenid Empire, with court notables and Persians and Medes, followed by soldiers and guards, their horses, and royal chariots. Delegates in their native attire, some completely Persian in style, carry gifts as token of their loyalty and as tribute to the king. These gifts include silver and gold vessels and vases, weapons, woven fabrics, jewelry, and animals from the delegates' own countries. Although the overall arrangement of scenes seems repetitive, there are marked differences in the designs of garments, headdresses, hair styles, and beards that give each delegation its own distinctive character and make its origin unmistakable. Another means by which the design achieves diversity is by separating various groups or activities with stylized trees or by using these trees alone to form ornamental bands. There is also an intentional usage of patterns and rhythms that, by repeating figures and groups, conveys a grandiose ornamental impression.


Remain of columns